Saudi Arabia’s Road to Positivity: Positive Psychology Education and Research
In April 2016, a new vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was revealed on national TV. The ambitious blueprint outlines a long-term plan for diversifying the country’s oil based economy. Set forth by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Vision 2030 places Saudi citizens in the center of its quest for a post-oil era by recognizing Saudis as an untapped resource necessary for the country’s new economic plan. The vision sets forth a number of goals, one of which is improving the social, physical and psychological wellbeing of Saudis. In this chapter, we provide an overview of a growing positive psychology movement in the Kingdom, as well as the accelerating effects recent economic and social reforms have had on the movement. Additionally, we briefly discuss how the predominant religion of Saudi Arabia, Islam, contributes to positive psychology, the beginning of positive psychology education in the nation and, the prospect of an indigenous positive psychology as a result of establishing the Kingdom’s first positive psychology research lab.
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